Despite paying for a membership, a family claims they were barred from entering a local gym because their teen daughter has Down syndrome.
Kevin and Sherrie Cates said they joined the Family Fitness Center in Ripley, Tenn., but the first time they attempted to visit together with their two daughters, the family was stopped at the door. The reason: the couple’s daughter, Mollie, 13, has Down syndrome.
The Cates say they were told by staff at the city-owned gym who turned them away that no one at the facility was trained to work with individuals who have the chromosomal disorder.
Mollie Cates’ parents say she attends regular classes at school — including physical education — and there’s no reason she shouldn’t be able to go to the local gym like anyone else.
An attorney for the fitness center said that the facility had never had a customer with Down syndrome and is now working to accommodate the family, reports WMC, the Memphis, Tenn. NBC affiliate.